TSKC’s Ashuni Pérez interviews Italian photographer Giovanni Riccò!
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, poetic and funny.
When did you start taking photos? What was your first camera?
So, this is an interesting question. I started taking pictures when I was in high school. It was through friends that I started to get into photography, then talking about this hobby with my family, my mom told me that my dad’s old camera was in our attic. I went to look for it and found it, it was a Praktica LTL III from East Germany circa 1969.
What kinds of things inspired you then? And now?
Back then, the thing that mostly inspired me was that I was going out and had something to do. I mean, creating something, producing something. Well, trying to… like a picture of a sunset (laughs). Doing macro, doing basic beginner photography things. When I was in high school, I was studying aviation so it was the complete opposite of what I was doing. Managing to have an entire film roll developed was really cool. I was creating something by myself and having my personal space in places where I was going to shoot. Nowadays, what inspires me about photography is documenting things and trying to tell stories. I really like to tell stories and talk a lot. The main goal now is that. What inspires me the most is having subjects, they don’t have to be people, that look old, trashed, and weird.
You recently traveled around the Iberian peninsula documenting coastal communities. Were you surprised by anything you saw?
Yeah, that trip lasted the entire summer, driving through the coast of Spain and Portugal in a big blue VW van. I drove for 5651 kilometers, which are kind of a lot. It was tiring as a journey, but really beautiful. The thing that surprised me the most was the sense of community that exists along the coast, in all the villages. At the moment, I live by the beach and can go to the beach whenever I want, so it’s pleasant. But, living in a city is different from living in a small town. The fact that each town that I was visiting along the coast, the culture, the people, and even the places were really similar to each other. That really surprised me a lot. Especially because the landscapes are really different from the Mediterranean to Galicia to Portugal, but the people and the culture by the sea have a connection.
In your project, 5651 km, you photographed both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. What was the biggest difference between the two?
Well, the biggest difference, in my opinion, was the power of nature. The way that the Mediterranean is calm, sunny and beautiful like a woman cuddling you. The ocean is tough. It gets really cold at night, even if it’s summer. The nature there is so much bigger, especially in southern Portugal. Coming from the Mediterranean, the first part of the ocean I saw was in southern Portugal on the Costa Vicentina. There are these huge, beautiful cliffs, a lot of waves and seagulls. It’s much more intense.
Currently, you are working on a project called Warning View. Can you tell us about it?
Warning View is a project that we, some friends from university and I, are starting now. Our main goals are to make an photographic archive of pollution, in general, but mostly to do with plastics and CO2 emissions and the other goal is to sell sustainable prints and donate part of money we earn to NGOs that fight ocean pollution and CO2 emissions. We are slowly working on this, because it takes time if you want to do things properly. Now, we’re creating the website on this server that is completely eco-friendly, there are no CO2 emissions but it’s difficult because there’s a lot of coding and we’re not web designers, but we want to have it done properly. It’s going to be released really soon. I’m really excited for it and hopefully it can bring forward other projects.
The theme of this issue is ‘Blue’. What do you think of when you think of the color blue?
When I think of blue, it’s all related to when I was a kid going to beach with my family. Water. Swimming. All the summer vibes. I’m more of a light blue person than dark blue.
Do you have any projects in the pipeline?
Yes, I have a few projects in mind. Now, I’m just doing some research about one project that is really big and long, hopefully I can work on it for the new few months or year. The project is based here in Valencia, I’m doing some location scouting for it but I don’t to say anything more in case I don’t finish it! (laughs) Also, I recently came back from the states where I was visiting the border of Texas and Mexico. It was really interesting, so I worked on a small series of pictures there trying to show the contrast in between the Latino culture and “American” culture. It’s the opposite, so it’s a big contrast. Not to mention, I’m getting a fanzine published with an editor in Singapore. It’s exciting!
Where can we see more of your work?